Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Claud Butler Dalesman - weight

My Claud Butler Dalesman weighs 11.5kg / 25lb - I'm making a record of current weight as services like Strava ask for it to help work out how much effort is put into bike rides, and extensive Googling didn't manage to answer my question 'how much does a Claud Butler Dalesman weigh'.

Bear in mind that my Claud Butler Dalesman touring bicycle is quite old, and I have no idea how many of the parts are original, so if you have a newer Dalesman (or if your bike looks significantly different to the photo of mine shown on this post) it probably has a different weight.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Claud Butler Dalesman

My Claud Butler Dalesman is the first bike I ever truly loved.
I've been a saddle-fan since I was very young, and I've enjoyed every bike I've ever owned (or restored) but this Claud Butler Dalesman is the first bike that truly won my heart.  I bought this Dalesman from The Bike Doctor in Ipswich for what I considered to be a very reasonable price, considering that The Bike Doctor appeared to have restored the bike and checked / fixed it mechanically.

Before becoming the new custodian of this lovely old Claud Butler I had never ridden a 'proper' road bike, preferring (like all kids who grew up in the late 80s / early 90s) rough and tumble mountain bikes.  After a few years break from regular cycling I got back into cycling in a big way and committed to a 100 mile charity  ride.  When 'training' for this ride it became clear that if I attempted to cycle 100 miles on my current mountain bike my knees, hips and thighs would likely explode.  The test ride was a total revelation, apart from anything else I was now able to cycle up hills!

I now cycle to work every day, and am fairly sure this Dalesman will be a gateway drug leading to a road bike / racer, or at least it will when I get some cash together.  My brother in law recently had his Claud Butler Explorer stolen so I thought I ought to make a note somewhere of the serial number of my own bike, and make a photographic record, just in case, so this blog seemed like as good a place as any to do just that.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Balls to the old punks!

Originally published in Lights Go Out issue #17...

Now I don’t mean balls to all the old punks, I just wanted a snappy headline.  I’m not talking about a particular age range either, I’m talking about folk who belittle other folk’s passion or enjoyment for anything because they’re either new to it or because they weren’t there at the start.  A good non-punk example would be when you let it slip you’re a fan of a particular television programme and the response given by some smart bugger is that ‘that show used to be better’, well who gives a shit?  This pointless elitism is evident nowhere stronger than in music, we’ve all been bored belchless by some pub-bore telling us that we’re wrong about the new NoFx (for example) album being great, because the first two albums were when NoFx reached their peak (which is bullshit by the way).

Toms_Murder_Mystery_Birthday-November 20, 2010-_ASL6080-Edit
Picture is unrelated
So why does this elitism annoy me so much when it comes to punk rock/ music in general, and why do you (poor sod) have to put up with me rambling on about it like some grumpy old man?  Well partly because I’m writing for a medium with no editorial quality control so I can say what I like, partly because I’ve got a spare hour and fancied writing something, but mostly because I am an old man.  Weak reasons huh?  Well you’re still reading so I’ll get on with it before you realise there’s not much here to hold your interest and wander off to stare out of the window in the hope that you might find something more entertaining to occupy your eyeballs.

As a fair weather anarchist I believe all people are equal, and snotty punk elitism proves that the terrible bore telling you that you’re a ‘plastic punk’ or that you don’t get Minor Threat because you weren’t xEDGEx in ‘82 has missed the point of why this rock called punk started in the first place.

Anyone with brains enough to pick up an instrument or go out and buy music they love does so for their own reasons, and as for what those reasons might be, well that’s none of your business.  Music appeals to the heart not the head, therefore if someone claims they really love whatever product Simon Cowell has recently pushed out of his money hole then so what?  Let them have it, surely someone spending their own money buying music to listen to in their own homes/ on their mp3 player is just as valid to them as that DC Hardcore 5” burnt turd coloured lathe-cut vinyl that you rub against your crotch every night?  Zines are full of columns stating that art is dying, so surely it’s utterly illogical to belittle anyone whose tastes are different to our own?